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Last Call On The Best-Selling 2012 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cab - 03/24/2017 - Cabernet Sauvignon (domestic)

Our initial offering of the 2012 Freemark Abbey Napa Cab was way back in January of last year, we had an inkling then that it’d be a hit, but time has proven it to be nothing less than a resounding success. With every successive drop we blown through inventory and had to order more. This can be attributed to a number of factors: sterling press and points from Robert Parker, a near-perfect vintage, a winery of impeccable pedigree, and a modest price. Combine all these and you have the makings of a superstar. But as they say all good things must come to an end and we are down to our last parcel of this brilliant 2012. Maybe you’ve had it already and are looking to reload or perhaps you somehow missed it the first time around, regardless now is the time to act, as once these cases are gone, it’ll be gone for good. The next vintage is on the horizon and will likely see a significant price increase, so make sure you get your bottles now.

A classic Napa Cab through and through the 2012 Freemark Abbey offers an expansive array of flavors including plum, cassis, blueberry, dark chocolate, and spice. Made in an open-knit and expressive style its texture is seductively smooth, while at the same time there is enough tannin and acidity to ensure a very long life. Coming in at under $33 it constitutes one of the last great values in Napa Cab.

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2012 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($32.99)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An absolutely fabulous value is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa. This comes from multiple sources and there are 46,000+ cases of it. A stunning Cabernet Sauvignon and a classic example of Napa viticulture, this blend of 75.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, was aged just over two years in oak. Loads of sweet blackcurrant fruit, cocoa, a touch of toast, earth, and baking spice are all present in this wine that has terrific fruit on the attack and mid-palate, a full-bodied mouthfeel, no hard edges and a luscious, opulent, gorgeously pure style. Drink it over the next 10-15 years. Although I wouldnt be surprised to see it last longer. For old-time reader/subscribers, this might be the modern-day equivalent of the great 1974 Souverain Vintage Selection that I recommended back in the late 1970s and is still going strong today. (RP)" (12/2015)

92 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blueberries and blackberries with hints of stones. Full body, firm and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs time to soften. Plenty going on." (01/2016)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars & Good Value* This generously filled, very well-focused offering is a textbook expression of the richness, the fruity succulence and supple feel that have made the Napa Valley version the standard by which all others are measured, and it does so at a price that makes it one of the best buys to be had among collectable Cabernets. It fixes on ripe currants and cherries early on with accents of briar, dusty soil, dried herbs and root-beer-like sweetness all in tow. If far from hard and standoffish, it is a wine not to be wasted by hasty drinking, and it fully deserves five or six more years of age." (12/2016)

90 points Wine & Spirits: "Tangled in its tannins when first opened, this wine requires a day of air to take shape. The acidity hits the tannins with the spark of crushed stone, while flavors of tart plum and peach skin fill out the hard edges. Blended from 20 vineyards and five varieties (its 75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot, Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec), this needs bottle age to soften." (02/2016)

90 points Wine Enthusiast: "From several vineyard sites and combining all five red Bordeaux varieties, this wine is fermented in stainless steel before it rests over two years in both French and American oak. Powerful, it retains an elegance amid a tannic, grippy entry of toasted oak and black cherry, and a rich textured finish accented in cinnamon and chocolate. (VB)" (08/2016)

K&L Notes: 2012 was a long, sunny vintage in Napa, and the wines have the potential for greatness. This is blend from over 20 vineyards, with a touch of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec to round out the Cabernet Sauvignon. From the winery: "Selecting from all over the Napa Valley, we were truly kids in a candy store in creating this 2012 Cabernet with its youthful dark ruby color. With great complexity, the wine expresses aromas of fresh boysenberry, blackberry pie, Bing cherry, dark chocolate, chocolate berry truffle dusted with cocoa powder, all integrated with the spicy sweetness of oak, cedar, cinnamon, clove and a hint of black pepper. The body is very full with a soft entry, coupled with dark cherry/berry flavors that develop from start to finish. With great texture and mouth feel, this Cabernet is full bodied, rich and opulent. In one word....delicious."

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 18, 2016

This is a beautifully made Napa Cabernet that balances the juicy ripe fruit with a firm tannin structure. Hints of green notes underlay and support the flavor without dominating it. Due to the ripeness of the 2012 vintage this wine, though young, is drinking remarkably well right now. With the structure though I could easily see this wine being able to cellar for a number of years.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 16, 2016

Freemark Abbey is on a roll. The pitch-perfect Cabernet hits keep coming at this venerable northern Napa Valley winery. Inviting aromas are classic Cab: somewhere between kirsch and cassis, but with an underlying green, savory, brush quality. I love the juicy, yet ultimately balanced, pure fruit on the palate, which makes it a delicious young Cab for drinking now. That said, given the tannins, flavor intensity and overall structure, I would not hesitate to lay some of these down for mid-term (5-10 years) cellaring. Want to go longer? Go for it, I suspect these will age wonderfully.

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2012 Freemark Abbey "Bosche" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($109.99)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The classic 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Bosché Vineyard is 90.1% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest 9.9% Merlot, aged 26 months in oak. This is one of the iconic wines of Napa, and one of the great vineyard sources coming from Rutherford on foothill bench soils at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains. This is one of the finest examples of this wine Ive ever tasted, and there have been many. The wine shows plenty of loamy soil notes intermixed with blackberry, cassis, cedar wood and spice box. Its full-bodied, shows terrific intensity, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel and moderate tannin in the finish. It still needs cellar time - and 5-6 years should bring forth plenty of magic, but this wine will also last 30-40 years. (RP)" (12/2015)

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2012 Freemark Abbey "Sycamore" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon ($109.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyard comes from a vineyard located at the end of Bella Oaks Lane in Rutherford. This has slightly less Cabernet Sauvignon than the Bosche Vineyard, at 84%, and the rest is Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, aged three months less in oak. Loads of clove, sweet blackberry and cassis, black olive tapenade and earthy forest floor notes are all present in this wine that shows dazzling richness, a heady full-bodied mouthfeel and stunning finish. The wine is slightly more evolved with the tannins and structure less present than in the Bosché. (RP)" (12/2015)

Jancis Robinson: "Cedar, dark fruit and rocky minerality nose through palate. The palate opens with a wash of dark fruit and carries forward through well-integrated baking spice and hints of cocoa with rocky minerality and savoury notes through the finish. Taut, persistent, fine tannins give this wine a lot of structure with well-balanced acidity for a long finish. This is a well-structured wine that wants air upon opening or a couple years in bottle. (ECB)" (06/2016)

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 14, 2017

A few weeks ago our K&L team was at the winery and I was pleasantly surprise how elegant and complex this wine was. We tried all of Freemark Abbeys current releases and this definitely stood out. I loved the dusty character given to wines from the Rutherford region. It softens the fruit intensity and brings out an earthier side to the wine. This wine has enough acid and structure for ageing yet I enjoyed it now. By the end of the tasting all I could say YUM!